Incredibles 2 opens immediately where The Incredibles left off, with our intrepid heroes banding together to stop the supervillain the Underminer. Working together, the Incredibles are able to prevent the Underminer’s drill from destroying City Hall — but the Underminer himself gets away. And then, kind of surprisingly, he’s never seen or heard from (or even mentioned) again in the rest of the film. So what the heck happened to the Underminer?

A fan posed that question to Incredibles 2 director Brad Bird on Twitter today, and he provided a definitive answer to this question:

I think you need to approach that opening by keeping in mind the huge influence the James Bond movies have on The Incredibles franchise. Yes, these are obviously superheroes, in a world heavily influenced by Silver Age Marvel and DC comics. But Bird — who has admitted he’s not the biggest comic-book nerd who ever lived — also drew heavily on the films and books of 007 in creating The Incredibles, including their retro sense of style, and their supply of gadgets and ultra-cool cars and motorcycles. And James Bond movies always start with a cold open which rarely has any last impact on the rest of the story. Same goes for Incredibles 2; you get that awesome intro and then it’s into the main story.

Still, I do like the subtle message Brad Bird sent with letting the Underminer get away. It was a deliberate choice to do that. And now we know why.

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